He Said, She Said (1991) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Two young reporters are constantly bickering. He's the staunch conservative, street-educated, preaching the message of common sense. She's the Ivy League liberal intellectual. A concatenation of circumstances places them into competition to take over a popular opinion column. Their viewpoints contrast so sharply that the newspaper decides to run both, side-by-side, and that gimmick is so popular with readers that the dueling columns become regular features. As time passes, a producer wonders if they can project the same electricity on the air, and that leads to a popular talk show called "He Said, She Said." Throughout all their joint successes, the two young reporters never stop bickering, but (do I really need to mention this) they also fall in love. 

Is it a breezy, sassy Tracy-Hepburn movie from the 1940s? No, but it sure sounds like one, doesn't it?

It's a 1990s romantic comedy starring Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Bacon, and it's jazzed up by a stylistic trick. The "he said, she said" concept is extended to the movie's format as well. The film begins with their break-up, and the first half of the movie is his story of how they met, got together, and split. The second half of the movie is her rebuttal!

They do not always talk about the same incidents, because each of them had another love interest which affected the columnists' relationship in one way or another, and they dealt with those matters separately. The film's best humor, however, comes in the scenes where they have very different recollections of identical incidents.

This is a watchable romantic comedy. There are three things which, in my opinion, keep it from being a great rom-com:

1. The underlying conflict was the "same old same old." She: I want to get married. He: I'm not ready. The story's commitment to that as a central conflict made the entire exercise too routine and familiar, not to mention too old-fashioned. Both characters seemed trapped in traditional gender stereotypes which may have worked for Rock Hudson and Doris Day, but seemed quaint in the 1990s. Would a liberated 1990s Ivy League intellectual still be so hung upon that marriage issue? It seemed out of character for her.

2. Kevin Bacon was miscast. Don't get me wrong, I think Bacon is a good actor, but this role was just not right for him. The part called for him to be a womanizing, insensitive, egotistical reactionary who reformed for his true love. Unfortunately Bacon was only credible before the transformation. He still seemed like the same invulnerable, cavalier dickhead after his supposed reformation, and I was never quite persuaded that he had become a good enough guy to deserve the dream-girl. If I had been her father, I would have tried to steer her elsewhere!

3. Tracy and Hepburn would have added an extra layer of skill with the bickering dialogue, but that kind of sharp badinage was missing. The necessary sharp exchanges were too blunt and too clumsy. This was not a result of bad writing or bad acting, but the script's commitment to the dual-narrative concept. In order for the ol' Tracy/Hepburn electricity to work, both parties need to be sharp and witty and competent, and that requires an objective POV which allows them both to shine equally. Separating the narrative into two subjective POV's changed the focus of the humor, and laughs were derived from each remembering the other's fecklessness rather than their competence.

The fact that it is not a great romantic comedy doesn't mean you won't enjoy it. I watched the entire film through without getting bored or feeling the need for the fast-forward button. Celebrity nudity fans can enjoy a good look at Ms Perkins' perkies. It has a few laughs, it has some romantic moments, and it has a full-length commentary on a nicely-mastered DVD with a SRP under seven bucks!



  • Full-length commentary by writer/director/cinematographer team
  • Solid anamorphic transfer.



Elizabeth Perkins shows her breasts in a steamy shower sequence.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • It grossed ten million dollars.


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C, not a great romantic comedy, but a watchable one.

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